Explorer of the Year

MINING DAILY profiles each of the finalists in the 12 categories of the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

MINING DAILY profiles each of the finalists in the 12 categories of the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

The 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards aim to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in the Australian mining industry.

This year saw record amounts of entries in several categories, including Minerals Processing Plant of the Year, Innovative Mining Solutions and Excellence in Mine OH&S.

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony and dinner at Doltone House, Sydney on Wednesday 11 November 2009.

For tickets and further information please contact Heather Lawson on 02 9422 2791, or email heather.lawson@reedbusiness.com.au.

Atlas Iron

Atlas Iron is a finalist in the 6th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its exploration at the Wodgina direct shipping iron ore project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Although portions of the Wodgina Greenstone belt had been targeted by Atlas geologists during regional targeting, the area was considered low priority because of the lack of a banded iron formation.

The full iron potential was not appreciated until the geologists flew over the greenstone belt in a helicopter while undertaking reconnaissance work in nearby project areas.

Following initial field reconnaissance and approvals, the first exploration holes were drilled in mid November 2008.

The first orebody was discovered immediately with the first hole drilled.

The ensuing string of new finds rapidly transformed Atlas’s resource inventory and caused the company to re-prioritise its development priorities.

The exploration team has drilled 60,000 m in the past nine months, which has already translated into over 42 million tonnes of new resources.

Catalpa Resources

Catalpa Resources is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its Edna May open pit gold operations, located around 300 km east of Perth on the outskirts of Westonia.

The mine is expected to produce an average of 100,000 ounces of gold per annum over a mine life of more than seven years.

First production is planned in July 2010.

The mine will turn out more than 130,000 ounces per annum, allowing Catalpa to become one of Australia’s largest gold producers.

It will also provide a solid cash flow to fund further growth.

The company says its management team has adopted best practice standards for its social, health and safety, environmental management and corporate governance.

Catalpa has plans to merge its gold assets with those of its major shareholder, Lion Selection.

Lion has a 30% stake in Newcrest’s 100,000 ounce per annum Cracow Gold Operations in Queensland.


Cortona has achieved significant exploration success at its Majors Creek Gold Project in New South Wales’ Southern Tablelands, earning it spot as a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

According to the company, the tenement covers a significant portion of New South Wales’ largest historic alluvial goldfield, the Lachlan Fold Belt, which has a recorded production of 1.25 million ounces.

Ongoing diamond and reverse circulation drilling programs commenced in October 2007, aimed at testing a range of targets, including extensions to the Dargues Reef resource.

Drilling also focused on the immediate area surrounding the historic Dargues Mine.

Cortona said the drilling had uncovered numerous encouraging anomalous rock chip, gold-in-soil geochemical and geophysical anomalies.

This has convinced the company that Majors Creek represents an exciting new emerging Australian gold prospect with a considerable exploration upside.

Cortona is actively drilling the lode system extensions at Dargues Reef with continued success.

Energy Resources of Australia

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its Ranger 3 project, one of the largest uranium finds in the last 20 years.

In November 2008, ERA confirmed the discovery of a “very significant ore body” in the Ranger 3 Deeps, adjacent to and down-dip from its existing Ranger 3 operating pit.

The mineralised zone was intersected by 110 diamond drill holes at depths of 250 m and 500 m and has a strike length of around 1.2 km.

The Ranger 3 Deeps target contains an estimated 34,000 tonnes of uranium oxide, although the northern limits of the ore body have yet to be defined.

ERA this year formally applied for approval from the Federal and Northern Territory Governments to construct an underground decline to fully investigate the deposit.

The Governments determined that the exploration decline did not require specific environmental assessment, meaning ERA is clear to commence detailed exploration.

Iron Road

Iron Road is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its flagship Warramboo iron deposit in South Australia.

The company has strong project portfolio of advanced projects that are close to excellent infrastructure and complimented by other early-stage projects.

Exploration at the company’s 100%-owned Warramboo project has demonstrated superior mineral qualities as well as the potential to produce high-grade concentrate.

Iron Road is now moving Warramboo into the pre-development phase, with a Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) resource definition expected this year.

The company also holds a further hematite and magnetite deposit in South Australia and iron ore exploration projects in Western Australia.

Iron Road says its distinguished board and management team are multi-disciplinary and experienced in exploration, project development, mining and finance.

As the company continues to build a significant resource inventory there will be substantial upside opportunities for investors, Iron Road said.

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